Pubdate: Thu, 30 Nov 2000
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Auburn Journal
Contact:  1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Author: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer


Michele Kubby returned to the witness stand Wednesday to describe a life 
with husband Steve that revolved around politics and pot.

But her composure broke down when she was questioned on the events 
surrounding a Jan. 19, 1999 law enforcement raid on their rented Olympic 
Valley home that netted 265 cannabis plants and resulted in 16 drug charges.

Fighting back tears, Kubby said that she thought it was "the beginning of 
the end of my life" when she opened the door and found a Placer County 
Sheriff's investigator standing with a search warrant in hand. The most 
serious of the charges they are now on trial for is possession for sale.

"I knew they would come in and destroy our garden and arrest us," Kubby 
said. "That was the worst thing that could happen to me in my life."

Kubby earlier testified how life was relatively sedate in their mountain 
home but grew increasingly tense in the months leading up to the search and 
their arrest.

She described how Steve would nurture their indoor garden, clipping the 
more potent buds and scraping any residue off his gloves to make finger 
hash. Stalks would be burned in the Franklin stove and buds were stored in 
plastic jars in a master bedroom closet.

Kubby testified that her husband needed the marijuana to live and would 
smoke it through a bong, pipe or rolled joint throughout the day to avoid 
symptoms of a rare adrenal cancer he had kept at bay with the drug.

The Kubbys would buy sugar cookie mix, whirl up a couple of cups of pot in 
the blender, mix it up and bake a batch of marijuana laden cookies that 
would help Steve sleep at night, Kubby said.

Michele Kubby said she was smoking pot at the same time to help with her 
irritable bowel syndrome. Both secured doctor's recommendations allowing 
them to use and grow marijuana.

At the same time, Steve Kubby was becoming a well-known Libertarian Party 
politician on the state level. After passage of Proposition 215  a 
medicinal pot law that he played a major role in getting on the 1996 ballot 
 he ran for state governor.

Kubby said she sought the medical recommendation in 1998 when stress began 
to aggravate her condition.

"I believed we were under surveillance," she said. "We lived on a 
cul-de-sac and would often see suspicious cars. When it snowed, I saw 
footprints going all around the house."

Kubby said that it "probably wasn't very smart" when she and her husband 
brought some of their homegrown buds to a Sacramento protest against 
anti-Prop. 215 legislation and showed them to the media. They compared the 
marijuana to a bottle of aspirin, saying the aspirin killed 1,000 people 
annually while pot killed no one.

The Sacramento County sheriff was across from them when they made the 
comparison and "stormed out," she said.

Kubby also detailed the breakdown in a relationship with Brian Lungren, a 
neighbor of theirs and brother of then-Attorney General Dan Lungren. Brian 
Lungren lived seven houses down, she said. Dan Lungren was a staunch 
opponent of Prop. 215. Before Prop. 215 passed, Brian Lungren would greet 
them as they walked by each other on nearby trails, she said.

"Afterward, he wouldn't speak to us anymore," Kubby said. "He would look 
away to avoid us."

Kubby said she was terrified because of the surveillance, had nightmares 
and couldn't sleep.

On Tuesday, Kubby testified that the marijuana grown at her home was for 
personal medicinal use only. Steve Kubby is also scheduled to testify in a 
trial that started in early October and now is expected to end in early 
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